2016 has been a crazy election cycle. But the oddities have not been confined to the presidential race. In Alaska, a Senate race is unfolding that could permanently change American politics.
To understand what is currently going on, we need to go back to 2010, the year of the Tea Party wave. In the Republican Senate primary, newcomer Joe Miller beat the incumbent Lisa Murkowski by less than a percentage point. Not content with losing, Murkowski then launched a write-in campaign and ended up beating Miller in the general election by four points.
But Miller wasn’t done. In 2014, he ran for Senate again, finishing a strong second in a three-way GOP primary behind eventually winner Dan Sullivan and outperforming his polling numbers by double digits.
Many wanted Miller to run again in the GOP primary in 2016, but after two hard-fought losses he declined. “Close but no cigar” was becoming his trademark. However, the prospect of a split electorate compelled Miller to join the Alaska Libertarian Party and put his name on the November ballot. As Miller explains to Mark Levin below, he is facing three leftists with credible campaigns. Murkowski is on par with Mark Kirk/Susan Collins and is practically a Democrat. The Democrats have put forth a nominee in Ray Metcalfe. And there is a liberal independent who is self-funding her campaign in Margaret Stock; she has been endorsed by Alaska’s most recent Democrat Senator Mark Begich. For voters looking to cast their ballot for a conservative/constitutionalist/libertarian, Miller is the only option.
While recent polling shows Murkowski with a substantial lead, Miller is also placing second. There is still plenty of time for Miller to gain momentum and win this thing.
Prominent conservatives across the country should strongly consider breaking with the party line and endorsing Miller. Murkowki and the GOP establishment showed in 2010 that supporting the nominee means nothing to them. And now, with Murkowski dumping Trump, she has simply confirmed that party unity is not something she believes in.
There hasn’t been a right-leaning Senator elected on a third party candidacy since James Buckley (NY) won on the Conservative ticket (while facing the Republican and Democratic nominee) in 1970. Now is the moment in time for people to help break the two party duopoly, and more specifically, end the stranglehold the GOP establishment has on the right.